What is ADHD?

Also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD is a mental health disorder that causes inattentiveness and hyperactivity. While ADHD affects people of all ages, it is typically discovered at a young age and categorized into three different types: Inattentive Type, Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, and Combined Type. Once diagnosed, treatment can involve a variety of methods depending on your specific needs. For children under 6, behavior therapy is an important first step before trying medication. For children 6 and older, medication and therapy are recommended.

LifeWorks NW has been supporting those with ADHD for over 60 years. We offer treatment throughout the Portland Oregon area and have locations across Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties that are ready to support you.

ADHD Causes

While exact causes of ADHD are unknown, evidence has demonstrated that genetics are a factor. Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD oftentimes have an immediate relative who also has the disorder. Significant brain injuries also have been known to bring about ADHD.

ADHD Symptoms

The stigma of ADHD often mischaracterizes those with the condition to be troublemakers, difficult, or lazy. However, true ADHD symptoms include:

  • Fidgeting or inability to sit still
  • Trouble concentrating on tasks
  • Impulsivity
  • Forgetfulness
  • Frequent Mood Swings
  • Short attention span
  • Disorganization

Symptoms vary depending on age, and ADHD sometimes coincides with other disorders, such as dyslexia and personality disorders, and symptoms may be exacerbated by or confused with symptoms of anxiety and depression. ADHD is not limited to one environment or situation but is manifest across settings (e.g. home, school, community).

Inattentive Type

Those who have been diagnosed with the Inattentive Type of ADHD experience issues with details. Following detailed instructions, forgetfulness and a lack of attention to detail are signs of this type. Ideally, the Inattentive Type should be diagnosed as early as possible; hormonal changes during puberty and the transition to adulthood make official diagnosis more difficult.

Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

This particular type of ADHD involves symptoms such as fidgeting, trouble sitting still and restlessness. Unfortunately, children with undiagnosed Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD are often misunderstood as troublemakers as this disorder makes it incredibly difficult to be still and quiet.

Combined Type

The Combined Type of ADHD indicates individuals who show symptoms of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity. To accurately diagnose this type of ADHD, professionals will consider symptoms of the other two types, in addition to family medical history, to see if criteria for a combined type have been met.

Have questions about ADHD? Looking to get more information? Reach out to LifeWorks NW today!

ADHD Treatment

The most common treatment method for ADHD is medication which helps regulate stimulants to control behaviors. In addition to medication, behavioral therapy and parent training can help provide positive instruction, management and intervention strategies, and support for clients with ADHD. LifeWorks NW provides these types of services throughout the Portland area. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.